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Offline coberst

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Is more technology the answer?
« on: 07/08/2009 13:08:04 »
Is more technology the answer?

Technology is a positive feed back system.  When the output of the system increases the system goes at a higher rate.  There is no equilibrium in a positive feedback system.  Capitalism is such a system.

In a negative feed back system when the output increases the system goes at a slower pace or turns off completely, like the thermostatically controlled home heating furnace.  Such a system seeks and maintains equilibrium.  Our body is such a system.

As our world population continues to increase we (humanity) face a big question:  How will we feed everybody?  Until lately, India thought that they had found the answer for creating cheap food for their hundreds of millions.

“Farmers in the state of Punjab abandoned traditional farming methods in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the national program called the "Green Revolution," backed by advisers from the U.S. and other countries.

Indian farmers started growing crops the American way — with chemicals, high-yield seeds and irrigation.

Since then, India has gone from importing grain like a beggar, to often exporting it.

But studies show the Green Revolution is heading for collapse.”

When he Green Revolution was launched 40 years ago framers began to grow only high-yield crops instead of their traditional crops. The new crops required more water than the old crops so that farmers were required to create new wells.  These new wells caused the ground water level to fall and the declining level caused the water to become more salty than before.  These new wells required better and more expensive pumps, which led to indebtedness by the farmers.

This led to a problem similar to the problem we in the US have recently experienced, i.e. India’s Wall Street equivalent grew fat and happy and farmers accumulated debts that they could not pay.  This created a financial “quicksand”.

The new crops demanded much more from the soil and the water wells pumped more salty water because of lowered ground water and the combination destroyed the soil.

During the good years the farmers increased their standard of living and built new homes for their families, thus adding more debt.

"It's like a disease that is catching on in the world," says Suba, "building a life that is like a house of cards."

"The state and farmers are now faced with a crisis…India's population is growing faster than any country on Earth, and domestic food production is vital.

But the commission's director, G.S. Kalkat, says Punjab's farmers are committing ecological and economic "suicide”… Kalkat says only one thing can save Punjab: India has to launch a brand new Green Revolution. But he says this one has to be sustainable.

The problem is, nobody has yet perfected a farming system that produces high yields, makes a good living for farm families, protects and enhances the environment — and still produces good, affordable food.”

India's Farming 'Revolution' Heading For Collapse
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102944731



 

Offline graham.d

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #1 on: 07/08/2009 13:31:59 »
Actually there usually are many negative feedback mechanisms but there are (at least) two problems when applied to most real life situations:

1. We don't always like the mechanisms by which the feedback is applied e.g. not enough food - reduce population via starvation.

2. It does not follow that negative feedback systems are stable. In fact it is usually hard to make them stable. Instability is due to too much delay in the feedback response and usually results in oscillations or, sometimes, periods of stability interspersed with periods of "chaos" (in the mathematical sense). Economic boom and bust is a good example.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #2 on: 07/08/2009 21:55:20 »
It is the responsibility of the whole world to share the Earth's resources equally in order to make sure there is enough for all. Sadly us rich westerners are not prepared to give up what we've got in order to make this possible. Trade laws also pose a problem for sustainability along with the eating of meat (especially beef.)
 

Ethos

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #3 on: 08/08/2009 00:52:15 »
Is more technology the answer?

NO!!Yes!! Depends on the problem.....................

Maybe we should move this thread also???
« Last Edit: 08/08/2009 00:54:00 by Ethos »
 

Offline JimBob

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #4 on: 08/08/2009 02:06:20 »
Thomas Malthus has already answer this question and the theory has been born out in real life over and over again. His work has been applied not only to environmental and biological systems - but to many, many more systems, including - curiously - technical systems.

Personally, I believe we should leave it here. It really isn't anything new, just a re-statement of a question asked in various times and various cultures over and over again. It is hardly new or original.
 

Ethos

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #5 on: 08/08/2009 15:14:12 »
Personally, I believe we should leave it here. It really isn't anything new, just a re-statement of a question asked in various times and various cultures over and over again. It is hardly new or original.
True, very true my friend.

The greater question is whether man is in control of technology or technology begins mastering man's affairs. The former has led to important developments in the production of necessary comodities like; food, clothing and shelter. Likewise, vast improvements in medicine have accompanied advances in technology. The question now becomes; "Where is technology taking us?"

But as you've already pointed out; Nothing new or original about these questions. That is unless we learn to forcast the future. Only then would we have the information necessary to change in time to avert the consequences of our former course.

.....................Ethos
 

Offline JimBob

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« Reply #6 on: 08/08/2009 15:21:08 »
The start a new thread - I'll just refer again to Malthus, stating that this too has been answered in his works - but then I would never be that crass to my friend! :-)
 

Ethos

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #7 on: 08/08/2009 17:35:55 »
The start a new thread - I'll just refer again to Malthus, stating that this too has been answered in his works - but then I would never be that crass to my friend! :-)
Soooooo then, I quess we've about covered everything specific to this topic, agreed???

Now then, maybe we can move on to more challenging and interesting things like; Trimming the fuzz off a peach. Or maybe; Detecting the presence of a fart fifty kilometers downwind.

What say you my friend? Let's get back to the business of Chat that we just love and adore!!!!

Sincerely, and I do mean sincerely, without the addition of "YOURS" ofcourse.............Ethos
 

Offline JimBob

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Is more technology the answer?
« Reply #8 on: 08/08/2009 18:04:28 »
Done
 

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Is more technology the answer?
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